Friday, April 11, 2014

I Like Giving - Book Review

Thinking about doing a review for this book brings one word to mind: disappointment.

When I browsed the books available for bloggers on the WaterBrook Multnomah website, I was instantly drawn to Brad Formsma's I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life. It resounded with where I am now in finding joy in finally being financially able to be a blessing to others for a change. I looked forward to some ideas for growing in the grace of giving.

However, for a book which I would expect to be from a Christian perspective, Mr. Formsma was, in my opinion, entirely too scant with his nods toward God and His Word. Yes, he mentions God once in awhile, but it's quotes like this which unnerved me:
I heard it said that a person with a good heart cares for widows and orphans.[1]
This would have been a perfect opportunity for a reference to Christ or Paul and their teachings in the Scriptures on this subject. And, "a person with a good heart?" What does that mean? It's all so vague and general without sharing the good news of the transforming power of Christ who alone makes hearts good and giving.

If you are not particularly religious, this book would definitely appeal to your moral senses and might even spur you to give more generously if for no other reason than for how good it makes you feel to do so.

Nevertheless, once I got past my disappointment in this regard, I eventually gained important insights into how I might expand my giving beyond monetary means and to whom. For instance, I have often balked at giving to people who hold signs on street corners. Brad offers a balanced view of this situation leaving those who refuse to give in this manner out of conscience and those who must give in this manner out of conscience both with their consciences firmly intact.

Also, the real-life personal stories Brad shares in I Like Giving, many which originated from his website, are an inspiration in themselves, both those which turned out well and those which did not. And, I definitely appreciate his encouragement in how to be a good receiver.

Consequently, I cannot say that this book has no redeeming value. Just don't read it, as I did, expecting it to come from an overtly biblical perspective. There is much encouragement and inspiration here.

[1] Brad Formsma, I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life (Grand Rapids: WaterBrook Multnomah, 2014), 165.